WICCA -Wicca is a nature-based Pagan religion focused on the worship of the Mother Goddess and Her consort and the observance
of the cycles of Nature and the Universe. Wicca is highly eclectic, drawing from many sources both in its origin and in contemporary
practice. Wicca also acknowledges and seeks to develop the higher powers of the soul, through the practice of magic.
TRIPLE GODDESS -The three forms of the Triple Goddess reflect the three phases of the Moon. Maiden (Waxing Moon), Mother
(Full Moon), and Crone (Waning Moon). The Triple Goddess is the form of the Mother Goddess most often found in Wicca and underlying
most Wiccan thought. Her symbol is the Moon, and She is also represented by the Earth itself (often spoken of as Her body),
by the sea, or by the whole of the Universe. Her spirit suffuses all things.
THE GOD -Consort of the Goddess, the God is represented by the Sun, and is Lord of the cycles of life. He is seen as the
God of vegetation and of the forests, but also as Lord of animals. He is represented as dying and being reborn each year in
cycle with the seasons.
MAGIC -Magic is the technique of creation. Magic is a method of creating, changing, or affecting circumstances through
the manipulation of energy. Magic is accomplished through the focus of will power and emotion, which shape energy. Magic is
best used for self improvement, prosperity, and healing.
HIGHER SELF -The higher portion of ones being, through which the connection to the Divine is perceived. By attuning to
the Higher Self we move in concert with the part of us which is Divine and have access to its knowledge and powers.
KARMA -Divine justice, or balance. Karma tells us that for every action there is a reaction. A good action will beget
good. A bad action will beget bad. Everything we do comes back to us in time. Sometimes in this life, sometimes in another,
but all eventually returns. To satisfy Karma one must learn the lesson of the action -not merely experience it. And one will
re-experience the event as many times as necessary to learn the lesson.
LAW OF THREE -Most Wiccans believe in the Law of Three, that is that what you do -good or bad- comes back to you multiple
times. Some mean this literally, others mean it symbolically: that you will repeat the experience as many times as necessary
to learn the lesson it offers, three here simply meaning multiple times.
PSYCHISM -Magic is the art of actively using the powers of the soul. Psychism is the art of using those same powers passively;
to receive information or communication from the Higher Self or from others. Magic and psychism are intimately connected and
the division between them is arbitrary, and solely to make understanding simpler.
AURA -The field of Spiritual energy around the body. The size, shape, and color(s) of the aura can tell many things about
the persons Spiritual state.
VISUALIZATION -The art of concentrating or imagining something very strongly, usually as a visual image. In this way you
focus mind and emotion to shape that which is visualized into reality.
VEIL -A term describing the inability of the ordinary conscious mind to easily access the powers or memories of the Soul.
PATRON -A Patron Deity is the particular Goddess or God that one feels most at Home with. Some people have more than one,
but usually one will predominate. Any Deity that you are drawn to can be your patron Deity. Ones Patron Deity is praye dto
for guidance, visions, blessing, etc.
DEVOTEE -A devotee is a person who is attached, or devoted, to a particular Patron deity. Thus one might be a devotee
of Hecate, or a devotee of Isis, or a devotee of Ganesha, or any of the hundred million some forms of Deity.
UNIVERSAL DEITY -The different faces of Deity are ways of understanding Universal deity. All of the faces of Deity in
the end reflect the same universal power, as in fact do we and all of creation. That universal power is infinite and beyond
our power to know in its totality, so we make understandable images through which we may interface with it. That infinite
power is Universal Deity -the spirit of Deity that is beyond all names and images.
PRIMEVAL DEITY -God/dess before creation, being both feminine and masculine, both spiritual and physical, resolving all
opposites and polarities and containing within Itself all things. Primeval Deity is both the origin and the destination of
existence, the inner soul of all creation. Primeval Deity is most often represented as the Androgyne or the Crone.
AS ABOVE SO BELOW -The ancient maxim As Above, So Below is attributed to the Egyptian spiritual Master Hermes Trismagistus,
whose Emerald Tablet and other works were the standard of traditional Hermetic teaching. What is meant by this phrase is that
all of creation, whether great or small, reflects the same Divine Nature, or plan. As all things which exist are emanations
of the Goddess through the God, all things naturally mirror and reflect Their Divine qualities. For this reason the same Truth
will be discerned in a galaxy of stars, and in a single grain of sand, if one is open to it. It is ultimately on this principle
that all forms of divination are based.
WHEEL OF THE YEAR -The Wheel of the Year refers to the yearly cycle of the Seasons, and to the sacred festivals which
celebrate them. These festivals describe the process of Involution and Evolution on personal, seasonal, and Divine levels.
SABBAT -A Sabbat is a major Wiccan Festival. There are four Grand Sabbats, whose energy is primarily feminine. These are;
Samhain, Imbolc, Bealteine, and Lughnassadh. There are four Lesser Sabbats as well, whose energy is primarily masculine. These
are; the Spring Equinox (Ostara), the Summer Solstice, the Fall Equinox, and the Winter Solstice (Yule). The Lesser Sabbats
are keyed to the position of the Sun, and are reckoned by the Solar calendar. In former times the Grand Sabbats were reckoned
by the Lunar calendar, but they were long ago tied to the Kalends (or first day) of the months in which they occur, and are
now usually reckoned by the Solar calendar as well.
ESBAT -An Esbat is a monthly ceremony or ceremonies, usually tied to the cycle of the Moon. Esbats are commonly held at
the New or Full Moon, but can also be held at the Dark Moon.
DEOSIL -This term is used to indicate clockwise movement. It literally means Southwards from the Gaelic Deas, or South.
Deosil movement represents the movement of spiritual energy into physical manifestation.
TUATHAIL -This term is used to indicate counter-clockwise movement. It literally means Northward from the Gaelic Tuath
or North. The term is commonly replaced with the colloquial Widdershins -a Gardnerianism.
ELEMENTS -Elements are thought of as the basic building blocks of creation. Different cultures have used different substances
to symbolize the elements, and sometimes different numbers of them, and their correspondences vary widely according to location.
In the Wiccan religion they are normally said to be: Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. All things are said to be made up of these
elements in differing proportions. It must be understood that it is not the physical substance that is meant here, but rather
the spiritual qualities that they represent. Air represents inspiration, Fire action, Water reaction, and Earth integration.
In addition Spirit is said to be the fifth element, of which all the others are manifestations.
OMENS -Omens are messages from Spirit delivered in symbolic terms. Omens have been believed in all around the world in
every time and place. They are symbolic and are personal rather than universal in nature. That is to say that an individual
or a culture creates a language of symbols which Spirit then uses to communicate with them, so that different symbols will
be used in different places. An example of an omen is the famous black cat crossing in front of one, warning of a need to
seek and heed inner guidance. Omens are based on the idea that there is no such thing as a chance happening, and that everything
that happens reflects the will of Spirit.
AIRTS -Airt is a Scottish Gaelic term meaning something to the effect of Wind. In Scottish Traditional Wicca when the
Magic Circle was cast the Four Winds, or Airts, would be summoned to stand guard over it and to aid the ritual being performed.
The Airts are identified with the Four Directions, the Four Elements, and a host of other correspondences. In Gaelic East
was ruled by Aiet, whose color was red, and whose time was dawn. South was ruled by Deas (from which the word Deosil comes),
whose color was white, and whose time was Noon. West was ruled by Iar, whose color was gray and whose time was Dusk. And North
was ruled by Tuath whose color was black and whose provenance was the Night. This system is illustrated by the ancient song
Black Spirits used by Shakespeare in MacBeth. the first line of the song runs Black Spirits and Red, White Spirits and Gray,
mingle, mingle, mingle, as ye mingle may!
MAGIC CIRCLE -The Magic Circle is used to create Sacred Space in which to perform ritual, commune with our Higher Selves,
or work magic. The Magic Circle is a microcosmic reenaction of the process of creation, and represents our ties to all of
existence. Many people think of the Magic Circle as being primarily for protection, but in fact it serves to heighten and
help focus magical power, and this is the principle reason for its use. You will learn more about the Magic Circle, or Circle
of Art, in LESSON VI.
ATHAME -The Magical Knife, or Athame (or Arthame), is an ancient tool of magic, used for many purposes including casting
the magic circle, and the preparation of various magical items or ingredients. In certain Traditions the Athame must be of
a particular color and made in a particular way, but in general use today an Athame can be any sort of knife.
WAND -Everybody knows about the Witches magic wand, right? The Wand or Staff is used in Wiccan ritual for a variety of
purposes related to the focusing of energy. In Correllian Wicca the Wand is most commonly used as an instrument to aid in
the calling of the Airts, or Quarters.
CHALICE -The ritual cup used in Wiccan ritual, said to be cognate to the Holy Grail and Magical cauldron of ancient mythology.
The Chalice represents the womb of the Goddess, from which all creation proceeds.
PENTAGRAM -The Pentagram, a five-pointed star in a circle, is the principle symbol of the Wiccan religion. The symbol
was used in ancient Egypt to represent the concept of magic (without the circle) and the Spirit World (with the circle). In
Classical times the Pentagram, also called Pentalpha, was used by the Pythagoreans -a Greek philosophical school with a reputation
for deep metaphysical knowledge. In the medieval period the symbol continued to flourish being used by a number of groups,
including some Christians. The Pentagram has many meanings, notably the union of the Five Elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth,
and the Element which underlies them all: Spirit), which in turn corresponds to the union of Spirit and Matter and the attainment
of Spiritual Illumination, as well as the ancient maxim: As Above So Below (because the five-pointed star can be taken to
represent the human body, illustrating our Oneness with all creation).
BOLEEN -At one time there were a number of variations on the idea of the magical knife, most of which are no longer in
general use. One of these divided the magical knife into two instruments, the black-handled Athame, used for various magical
operations, notably casting the Magic Circle, and the white-handled Boleen, used to create magical artifacts, such as the
wand and various engraved symbols. The Athame was considered sacred to the Goddess, while the Boleen, or Burrin, was considered
sacred to the God since it was used in physical operations.
SACRED SPACE -Sacred Space is space which is used for magical work or worship. Sometimes it is specially prepared by cleansing
or other magical operations whose purpose is to change the vibration of the energy. Sometimes this change in vibration takes
place as an automatic consequence of the activity taking place. In all cases it is not the physical area itself which is sacred,
but rather the special nature of energy which has been raised in this way which creates Sacred Space.
CEREMONIAL MAGIC -Ceremonial Magic, or Ceremonialism, is a magical tradition followed by both Pagans and Judeo-Christians,
derived from Hermeticism and Alchemical thought. The Ceremonial Tradition has much in common with Wicca in its practices,
but also much difference. Ceremonialism tends to be very precise and dogmatic, with a strong emphasis on the use of certain
precise words, actions, and tools. Ceremonial Magicians tend to see magic as compelling outside forces to act in their interest,
where Wiccans tend to access their own powers or the ambient energies around them. The two groups are closely related, and
have often interacted. Many Wiccans have also been Ceremonials, and vice versa. For this reason you will find many Ceremonial
elements in modern Wicca.
YIN-YANG -Yin-Yang is the name given to the symbol used to portray the nature of the the Union of the two Polar Powers.
The Yin-Yang originated in Chinese Taoism, and has a long history in Asia, but today is used as a popular symbol around the
world. The Yin-Yang shows the Polar Powers as two comma-shaped segments wrapping around each other within a circle or sphere.
Yin, the Feminine or Spiritual force, is shown as dark, while Yang, the masculine or Physical force, is shown as light, and
each contains a small portion of the other.
GREAT RITE -In Wicca the term Great Rite is given to the physical representation of the union of Goddess and God. In symbolic
terms this union is represented by the insertion of the Athame, representing the God, into the Chalice, representing the Goddess.
The Great Rite may be celebrated in other ways as well, including in some cases the physical union of a Priestess and Priest.
Another term for the Great Rite is the Greek Hierogamos, or sacred marriage. The Great Rite is considered one of the the most
sacred ceremonies of Wicca.
SEVEN GREAT POWERS -The Seven Great Powers are the seven basic archetypes to which Personal Deities tend to correspond.
They are also likened to the seven planets of Ptolemaic astrology. The archetypes are these: Goddess -Maiden, Mother, crone.
God -Young God, Hero (Sun) God, King, Sorcerer.
CELTIC -The Celtic people are believed to have developed in central or eastern Europe sometime around 700 BC (500 Aries)
and spread through western Europe all the way to the British isles -though some scholars believe their origin to be much earlier.
Interbreeding with the pre-existing peoples of western Europe, the Celts developed a distinctive and highly mystical culture.
Absorbed by the Roman empire, Celtic culture had a strong influence on medieval Europe and consequently the modern world.
The Druids, the Celtic priesthood, have been a subject of fascination for subsequent generations, and are believed to be a
major contributing strain to modern Wiccan thought. The great Greek philosopher Pythagoras cited the Druids as a primary source
for many of his teachings as well.
BLESSING -In blessing we access Divine energy, channel it through our body, and impart it to another person or thing.
For example when we bless the Chalice in ritual, we impart the Divine energy into the wine, through which it then enters all
who partake of it. The Divine energy will interact with the recipient either in a predetermined manner (as in an initiation),
or act on its own to give the recipient whatever way they most need (as in a general blessing).
CHANNELING -Channeling is a method of communication by which messages or information are imparted to a person (called
a "channel" or "medium") by energy transfer from Spirit Guides, Ancestors, or Deity. The energy enters
through the persons Crown Chakra and passes through their brain, where it takes a form they can understand. Sometimes the
message comes in words, sometimes in pictures, sometimes by just "knowing". Often the channel will have no conscious
memory of the message. This is also called an Oracle.
WHEEL OF FATE -Fate, or Karma, is often portrayed as a Wheel. The Rota Fortuna, or Wheel of Fortune, represents the eternal
cycles of existence, which bring back to us the results of our efforts, for better or worse. In the Vangelo Delle Streghe
the Wheel of Fortune is portrayed as the Goddess’ spinning wheel, from which She spins the threads of fate as the
God turns the Wheel. This is an allegorical way of saying that fate originates with Spirit, and is brought about through the
cycles of material existence.
TALISMANS -When a natural object, such as a stone or plant, is used in its natural state or with minor augmentation with
the intention of producing a metaphysical effect on or for the user, it is called a Talisman. Talismans are used to bring
luck, stimulate success or prosperity, and for many other reasons. A common example of the use of Talismans is finding and
carrying a lucky stone. Another example is framing the first dollar a person earns.
AMULETS -An Amulet is a magical charm which is made for a specific purpose. Amulets can be very simple, or extremely complex.
A simple form of Amulet the famous Rabbit’s Foot keychain. Another example is the practice of pressing a flower
from a special event with the intention of giving that event success or permanence, or stimulating a continuation of positive
emotion stemming from it.